July 31, 2008

Majority Of Schools Here Will Start Classes On Aug. 25

By Robyn Meadows

There's something sort of magical about the first day of school: new clothes, shiny shoes and fresh-smelling book bags.

It's such a key day in life that no one - from students to parents and to educators - sleeps much the night before, educators say.

In a little more than three weeks, summer break ends for students in the 16 public school districts of Lancaster County.

Even after experiencing more than 40 first days of school, Lampeter-Strasburg School District superintendent Robert Frick still looks forward to it.

It's like Christmas, he said, referring to the inability to get any shut-eye on Christmas Eve. It's new beginnings.

He added, I know of no other profession where you have a chance to begin fresh every year, and that's the exciting part of it. And that's for the kids as well as the administrators and teachers.

This year, eleven school districts kick off the new academic year on Monday, Aug. 25.

They are Cocalico, Columbia, Donegal, Eastern Lancaster County, Elizabethtown, Ephrata, Hempfield, Manheim Central, Penn Manor, Pequea Valley and Solanco.

Kindergarten in Ephrata and all Lampeter-Strasburg schools start on Tuesday, Aug. 26.

The parade continues Wednesday, Aug. 27, with Conestoga Valley.

And, this year, three school districts resume classes after Labor Day.

It's typical for the Warwick School District, which will open on Wednesday, Sept. 3.

But this year, Manheim Township and the School District of Lancaster also will wait until after the last summer weekend hurrah to open their doors for students.

Thank construction for the delay.

On Sept. 2, students in grades K-9 in the School District of Lancaster head back to class, and same goes for all of the students in Manheim Township.

Lancaster students in grades 10-12 return to McCaskey High School the next day, Sept. 3.

It's the second year that Manheim Township has delayed its opening a few days to accommodate the high school construction project.

Work continues on the new high school auditorium and stage, television studio and planetarium.

Township High student drivers and their parents have been dealing with altered traffic flow around the building for three years as construction has moved from place to place.

Joe Kurjiaka, director of operations and planning said, indications are that traffic on the high school campus won't be as much of a problem this year. But timing on finishing the south parking area will be tight.

We expect to have all parking areas available for school, Kurjiaka said. If not, we will have some alternative plans.

And as the School District of Lancaster gears up to launch its $198 million renovation and construction project, crews are removing asbestos at four elementary schools this summer.

Lafayette, Ross, Wharton and Washington elementary schools are in the first phase of the project.

Students at the county's largest non-public schools return to class in August as well.

The four campuses of Lancaster Mennonite School start the school year on Wednesday, Aug. 20.

New student orientation for Lancaster Catholic High School students is Monday, Aug. 25. The first full day for all students there is Tuesday, Aug. 26.

(c) 2008 Intelligencer Journal. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.